A stunningly boring and ineffectual war film, devoid of personality and any sign of on-screen gore. The stakes are intended to be conveyed through the performances but are not communicated otherwise in an experiment that utterly fails. There is no visceral sense of the horror of war and the characters' actions and desperation feel unwarranted as Nolan neglects to frame the hopeless backdrop in any tangible form.
It will be 5 stars when Nolan learns to tame some of that urge he has for Hollywood melodrama. He's getting there... losing more bad habits with each film he makes. Saw this at the cinema and loved the experience of it, less so the manipulation of some scenes that seemed visibly forced. Overall though, I liked how he told the story.
Almost completely devoid of backstory Dunkirk is a big ask in terms of connecting to character and coupled with the endless dogfights, while spectacular to watch it all becomes a bit tiresome. Unfortunately I found myself distracted by technical inconsistencies like mismatched weather and the shoehorning of clunky emotional strokes. 2.5 stars